An exhibition of gifts of appreciation to the town of Wootton Bassett in recognition of the support to repatriated servicemen and their families have been unveiled at the town’s library.
They can be viewed in the town’s library until Wednesday October 19, and a catalogue showing a selection of this unique collection will also be available.
Final arrangements are in place for this weekend’s events on Sunday 16 October 16 when Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal will visit the town to present Her Majesty’s Letters Patent in fron to a crowd that could be between 20,000 and 30,000 strong.
She will be received by the Lord Lieutenant, Mr John Bush, OBE, KStJ before the town’s Mayor, Councillor Paul Heaphy, will invite the Princess Royal to view the gifts.
Following this Her Royal Highness will be driven down the High Street to the stage for the parade and the presentation of the Letters Patent. Wootton Bassett’s award winning town crier, Owen Collier will announce Her Royal Highness as she arrives in the High Street.
Celebrations will include parade troops, the Wootton Bassett Band and the Royal Marines Band. Following speeches the flag bearer will break the new Royal Wootton Bassett flag, a ceremonial and historic moment when the new flag is raised for the first time after the presentation of the Letters Patent. The Master of Ceremonies, Councillor Steve Bucknell will then invite Canon Thomas Woodhouse to bless the town’s new Coat of Arms.
Weather permitting, there will be flypasts during the day by a RAF Globemaster, a Hercules and later at around 4pm by a Vulcan bomber.
The formal event will take place between 1.30pm and 3pm. Large screens will be placed in the High Street so that visitors can view the celebrations as they are taking place.
Visitors are advised to allow plenty of time to be there for this event and to allow plenty of time to take the shuttle bus because the High Street and other car parks will be closed to the public.
Special arrangements have been made to provide parking facilities at nearby Lydiard Park, which will be signposted to direct drivers. A shuttle bus service will run from 10am between Lydiard Park and will drop passengers off at Lime Kiln in Wootton Bassett, which is just a short walk from the High Street.
A final bus pick up from Lime Kiln in Wootton Bassett to return passengers to their cars will take place at 5.45pm.
Flags, Programmes, Royal Wootton Bassett Crown Buns, tea towels and other memorabilia will be available on the day. Public toilets will be open at Borough Fields and there will be portaloos in the Co-Op car park in Station Road and at the pick-up and drop off points of the park and ride. Pubs and cafes have been asked to open throughout the day
Pictured top, Paul Heaphy, Mayor of Wootton Bassett inspects the silver plate given to the town by The Royal Horse Artillary in thanks for honouring one of their soldiers lost in combat, during the Opening of Presents in Wootton Bassett.
Below, Group Captain John Gladston checks out the one of the major awards given to the town of Wootton Bassett in honour of the repatriations that took place along the High Street.
Images by Richard Wintle of Calyx